a brief analysis of criminological psychic predictions

Psychics as a whole seem to exhibit an almost parasitic attraction to spectacle - the more strange, outrageous, horrific or violent some event is, the more likely that some psychic will invariably allege gross incompetence and negligence upon the parts of those charged with preventing such disasters by claiming that they predicted the event far in advance and, undoubtedly, will wistfully decry on a time-lost web page "If only I was believed!" This has always galled me - as a criminology student, I like to think I am better informed about police and investigative methodology than most, and seeing the sheer amount of time and effort put into crime prevention laughed at is exceptionally aggravating, not to mention offensive. A prediction like this one made by the psychic Pernel[1] for 2009, therefore, hits me where I live:

Violence and crime are going to rise.

Though most criminological predictions are more detailed than this one, at least those obtained by normal methods of inquiry, I am nevertheless appalled that the efforts of thousands of hardworking men and women around the globe could be reduced to a seven-word phrase in any context. Bearing in mind that the first principle of policing is, as best stated by Sir Robert Peel (considered the founder of modern policing), is "to prevent crime and disorder,"[2] it's even a critique of police practices! Given that violent crime has been rapidly dropping since 1993[3], we'd like to think that we have some basis for carrying on with the current policies... they've been shown to work!

Considered a different way, however, this prediction is even more astonishing. Granting the supposition that Pernel is actually communicating with a paranormal entity, it's not Pernel's prediction at all - rather, Pernel is acting as essentially a messenger between the paranormal entity and us "normal" entities, so it's really the paranormal that's got it wrong! If the point of asking a paranormal resource in the first place is to obtain information unavailable by normal means, it seems fair to presume the entity would at least be aware of normal knowledge.

Law enforcement certainly is.


[1]: http://psychicinsights.wordpress.com/2008/11/15/new-psychic-predictions-leading-into-2009/

[2]: http://www.nwpolice.org/peel.html

[3]: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/4meastab.htm